An NFL Player and a Marine Team Up With Sneaker Artist Kickasso to Support Veterans

JuJu Smith-Schuster, wide receiver for the Pittsburgh Steelers, is showing he’s got game on and off the football field.

Veterans causes are close to Smith-Schuster’s heart, and he will be participating in the NFL’s My Cause, My Cleats campaign by representing the Call of Duty Endowment during his game against the Chargers on Dec. 2. The endowment was created to help veterans find high-quality jobs after they leave the service.

Smith-Schuster partnered with sneaker artist Kickasso and Purple Heart recipient and endowment beneficiary, Myron Ellis. Together, they crafted a set of cleats and gloves that tell the story of Ellis, who served a decade in the Marines. The aim is to come together to spotlight the endowment’s mission and celebrate the heroism of veterans.

The right cleat represents Ellis’s story; the left, Smith-Schuster’s. Each element of the design represents an important part or moment in their lives.

Troy “Kickasso” Cole is the founder of Kickasso Kustoms, which creates proprietary designs on plain sneakers. Cole has worked with athletes, performing artists and anyone else who wants to commission a proprietary sneaker design.

For those who want to see the story behind how Kickasso Kustoms created the design to honor veterans and the recipients’ personal journeys, tune in to NFL Countdown on ESPN on Dec. 2.

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